Logo: The Northwest Water and Energy Education Institute at Lane Community College
Logo: The Northwest Water and Energy Education Institute at Lane Community College

Education & Training for Energy & Water Professionals

Education & Training for Energy & Water Professionals

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The Northwest Water & Energy Education Institute (NWEEI) at Lane Community College provides degrees in the energy and water industry throughout the Pacific Northwest and Northern California.

Online - Energy Management Degree (on hold starting Fall of 2021)

Evaluate, analyze and reduce energy use
Scholarships Available

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Online - Energy Management Degree focused on Building Controls

Manage the control systems that make buildings smart and energy-efficient
Scholarships Available

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Online - Water Conservation Technician Degree

Design & implement effective water use/reuse
Scholarships Available   

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Take the next step toward a new career in energy efficiency or water conservation

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Article Index

Study Abroad: South Africa

The first group of students successfully completed their African adventure on July 4th, 2013. Keep posted in the years ahead for additional opportunities.

We are still working out many details so check this page as it will reflect the most up to date information. It may be beneficial to look at the bottom of this page for the last modification date.


Early in 2012, NWEEI began exploring the idea of starting up an International exchange program specifically for energy and water related studies. There was some initial interest in doing a study abroad course in India but our plans have changed a bit. We are not going to India to do a water project. Instead we are going to Wilberforce Community College, Evaton South Africa (outside of Johannesburg) with the intention to install both a Solar PV system and small Solar Hot Water system.

Josh and Roger returned from South Africa in Mid February 2013 after checking out the location, lodging, food, and cultural side trips that we might take. We are looking at a 10 day course starting late in June (2 days travel on either side of the class) coupled with an online preparatory class starting April 1 so everyone will be on the same page regarding Solar PV.

Total Costs

We are now looking at $2600-$2800 /per person cost to participate in the program (see the Timeline for payment details).  That includes:

  • Air Fare - arranged by individual traveler & paid directly to airline. We'll assist you with the timing of the purchase as we track airfare prices.  We are expecting the cost to be ~$1,500-$1700.
  • Travel & Meals - to be paid to NWEEI.  Deadline will be posted.
    • To and from the airport
    • Two field trips (maybe three). Includes admission.
    • Meals and lodging while at Wilberforce.
    • Security Cash = 200 Rand (~$20 bucks).  This is just a precaution for any emergency situations that may arise requiring a phone call and or if you need help.
  • Course tuition - Paid to Lane Community College via Enrollment services. There will be two courses offered. The first is a 4 credit online course starting Spring Term April 1 (NRG155 PV System Design and Installation 1 ONLINE - CRN#44524) for those of you who have not already taken PV and solar water heating from our renewable program. If you already are (or have previously), you will not need to sign up and take the online portion of the program.

    The other is the 3-4 credit on-site course while in SA (NRG157 Renewable Energy Systems - CRN#11291 ). The purpose for this course is to give you credit for your education but also so you will have insurance while on the road. You can use the courses in your degree program as electives and or course substitutions. Our plans are to be installing a PV system w/battery back up and a solar thermal system for the dining hall hot water.

Expenses to consider that are not included in the budget above

  • Passport Book = ~$155 ($110 Application fee + $25 Execution Fee + $20 photo)
  • Immunization = Yellow Fever is suggested but left up to individual - ~$100. Because we will be working with metal, yourTetanus shots should also be up to date.
    Summary: If for some reason our flight is diverted to another country that has Yellow Fever and you can not display your immunization record, you may be forced to recieve the immunization (and pay for it) before being allowed to continue on your flight(s) most likely causing delays in travel.
  • Meals while at the airport(s) = $60-80
  • Snacks, Coffee, Tea Comfort items = $50
  • Gifts, cellphones, phone cards = $Up to you!

Disclaimer: NWEEI reserves the right to cancel or alter the program format or to change costs in case of conditions beyond its control.

Timeline Calendar

This section will be updated as soon information becomes available. It will include important drop dead dates and day by day schedule. Calendar or itinerary not displaying below? -- click here.

Sign Me up! Checklist

There are a few imperative steps in order for this trip to be a success.

  1. Send an email to Roger () ASAP to say you're interested (cutoff date Friday, March 29th)
  2. SignUp and complete TWO LaneCC classes with the exception that if you've already taken Ryan Mayfields NRG 155 Photovoltaic Design & Installation 1 class, you'll only need to signup for the summer class (10-day in South Africa).
    1. Prep Class Starts April 1: The online prep class is NRG 155 with some minor modifications.
    2. 10-days in South Africa: This class will be listed as a NRG class and you'll need to signup prior to leaving.  The class should be available for enrollment on or before June 10th.
  3. Get your passport and travel documents in order. See the Timeline for due dates.
  4. Purchase ticket for flights. We are watching ticket prices and We'll advise you when to buy. Should be ~6 weeks out from departure date.
  5. Submit payment to NWEEI for transportation and lodging. Check the timeline for deadline information.
  6. Make copies of important travel and ID documents, submit any last minute paperwork, pack and gather group emergency information.

Travel Information

Student Study Abroad Handbook - pdfLCC_Student_Study_Abroad_Handbook.pdf05/16/2013

The information provided within this handbook gives general requirements and advice on how to have a successful experience abroad. Some of the information will be discussed at your orientation session, but it is your responsibility to read through the entire handbook. This Document is an adaptation of the International Education Office Madison Area Technical College’s Student Handbook (2009)

Location - For the majority of our time spent in South Africa, we will be stationed at Wilberforce Community College about 30minutes outside of Johannisberg (also called Joberg). There will be a few scheduled trips into the city or Evaton township but for the most part, we will be staying local to campus. Please Note: There are no convience stores within easy walking distance so plan to bring all your personal item needs with you.


Physical address
Wilberforce Community College
Plot 26, Cnr Buffalo and Sekontle Streets
Evaton, Van Der Bijl Park
South Africa

Telephone: (016) 583-8000
Fax: (016) 583-8027

Postal address
Wilberforce Community College
PO Box 5150
Mafatsana 1984

View Campus in Google Map | View Campus in Bing Maps

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Flights - We expect to pay about $1500 for round trip ticketing. As of March 1, flights via United are about $1k more that what we paid for our initial flight. Travel advisers say that booking domestic and international flights about six to seven weeks in advance of travel gets the best prices.

The Flight we are tracking:
Leaving Eugene (EUG) Early Friday, June 21 - Leaving Johannesburg (JNB) Late Thursday, July 3.

Don't pull the travel trigger too soon.  Look on the timeline or expect an email as to when to purchase.

Passport - There is plenty of time to get your passport if you do not have one please have a look at: http://travel.state.gov/passport/get/first/first_830.html for their instructions.

If this is your first time getting a passport and or if you need to renew it, you'll first need to get your photo taken.  While there are many ways to have a friend take a photo with a digital camera, there are specifications that need to be followed exactly.  Most often it is just easier and more timely to go somewhere and have it done. Call first to make sure their equipment is operational and if an appointment is necessary. Here are a couple local options:

DO NOT WAIT TO THE LAST MINUTE!  Sometimes processing can take 4-6 weeks!


South African native currency is called the Rand or abbreviated as ZAR. As of today, the rate is 1 US Dollar equals
9.10 South African Rand.  So one easy way to try and make the conversion in your head is just to round up 9.1 to 10.  That way when you see something that costs 200 Ran you just need to move one decimal point to the left which would equal approximately $20 USD (actual conversion would be 200 Rand = $21.98 USD).

Google it to find out more: https://www.google.com/search?q=USD+to+Rand

Generous Donations By
Eugene Water & Electric Board